Add Chris Redd to the list of veteran cast members walking away from ‘Saturday Night Live’.
Redd has decided to leave NBC’s venerable late night showcase after five seasons on the program, and is just the latest member of what has been one of the program’s biggest casts in recent history to leave for the 48th season. Lorne Michaels, the show’s longtime executive producer, had anticipated a season of change earlier this year and recently suggested that the current comic book group stick together to help each other through the pandemic.
“Being part of ‘SNL’ has been the experience of a lifetime. Five years ago I walked into 30 Rock knowing this was a great opportunity to grow,” Redd said in a statement. “Now, with friends who have become family and memories I will cherish forever, I am Lorne Michaels and grateful to the entire ‘SNL’ organization. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you all enough.”
During his time on the show, Redd got to grips with his impression of New York City Mayor Eric Adams and participated in a large number of recorded videos and sketches. He also shared an Emmy award for his contribution to writing “Come Back Barack,” a song lamenting the departure of former President Barack Obama. Redd joined the series in 2017 as a featured player.
He has an HBO Max comedy special in the works “Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?” which will premiere later this year. Redd co-founded and will star in an upcoming project from Michaels’ Broadway Video and Audible. He is also attached to star in the feature film ‘Cyber Monday’, which is currently in development at Universal.
Every summer break brings changes to “SNL’s” talent list, but the past few months have seen an unusual period of activity for the show. The departures of Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari were revealed earlier this month, following the announcement in May that Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson would be leaving.
There has also been a remarkable departure backstage. Senior producer Lindsay Shookus is leaving the program after years of managing talent relationships.
As more TV viewers migrate to streaming services to watch their favorite scripted dramas and comedies on demand, “SNL” has taken on new importance for NBC. Once relegated to broadcasting after the late local news in a time slot that network executives didn’t consider to be of the utmost importance, “SNL” is now live in the US all at once, meaning it’s broadcasting prime-time in select parts of the country. “Saturday Night Live” in the 2020-2021 season was the most-watched entertainment program on TV among viewers aged 18 to 49, the most preferred demographic by advertisers.
The cast shifts are likely to see a handful of current members take on more responsibilities. week. Among those who have gotten regular screen time in recent seasons are Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, and Bowen Yang. The status of veterans including Colin Jost, Michel Che, Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong for next season has not yet been officially announced by NBC. “SNL” has already announced that it will introduce four new featured players ahead of the program’s season debut in October.
The sheer number of exits is reminiscent of the transition that “Saturday Night Live” went through in 2012, when Andy Samberg, Abby Elliott and Kristen Wiig left at the end of the season, followed a few months later by Jason Sudeikis, and a year later. , by Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. The show’s remaining cast and some new members had to work to get more cohesion.